Happy Holidays to all! I always enjoyed reading predictions for industries and technologies this time of the year, some times it is even more entertaining to read them years later when we can gasp in awe at our predictions or wonder what were we thinking...so here are some predictions for the supply chain space for 2012. I started writing these as a top 10 which became a top 12, a nice number for the year 2012.I really did not intend to have that many, I guess I was just feeling very "predictive."
Here are my predictions for supply chain in 2012, if you are interested in the more detailed article feel free to drop me a note:
Two more predictions to make it a dozen!
11. Greater usage of unstructured data, think of social media will act as one of your leading indicators. Much like what AMR Research coined a few years ago – the Demand Driven Supply Chain will creep closer to reality as supply chains leverage increased access to unstructured data coupled with their existing understanding of how to maximize information from structured data. This combination will allow companies such as Best Buy to monitor in real time and anticipate which products will sell, allowing demand to drive their supply chain. The obvious first movers will be retail and CPG companies, but others like Dell and Verizon will continue to leverage these signals to manage the service side of their supply chain. Even life science companies will gravitate to usage of unstructured data as they can look to anticipate where flu breakouts or colds or rashes of sun burn will rise through unstructured data mining. Of course this will only increase the wave of Big Data that will only continue to grow.
12. Finally, that iPad, iPhone, Droid or even yes Blackberry are not just for Angry Bird, eMail and Netflix but will integrate into supply chain. We are all mobile now, whether you choose to embrace it or not. A September report from Forrester Research states that over 50% of all workers today are working either at multiple locations or only remotely. This spills over into the supply chain space. Mobility will impact supply chains in two ways. First the growth of tablets and smartphones will make the number of nodes where decisions can be made and executed that much greater. The person loading a truck at the receiving dock can instantly update via a tablet, the factory worker can monitor the through put of her assembly line via a smart phone, the person doing inventory in the hospital will be able to scan with an QR code reader from their smart phone and the list goes on. Second, the explosion of mobility will add to the glut of data that can be had. Whether it is communicating directly with clients or positional data, the rise of mobile devices will continue to infuse more data into our systems.
What do you think? What do you see for the supply chain space in 2012?
If you like reading these, look for an upcoming podcast series where I sit down with Bruce Richardson, former AMR Research Chief Research Officer, to discuss his views on supply chain trends for 2012 and beyond.
View all posts from Guy Courtin on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.
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